Pick The Best

For many of us, from the time we were very young children we would hear, "always pick the best." When it comes to certain things a lot of people want only the best and are quite adamant about it. While being firm about wanting the best might be good in some cases, desiring the best is needful when it comes to spiritual matters.
Pick The Best
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

In many matters a good parent will always want the best for their child. In His "Sermon On The Mount" Jesus brought forth numerous life giving and life lifting teachings. One of the places where we are directed to have the best is found in Matthew 6:19-21.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your

heart will be also."

In those verses, along with much of its context and a glimpse in the Old Testament, we will see how to pick the best that God wants to have. Consider the heavenly Father speaking through Jesus in showing us what to pick.

I. NOT Earthliness - 19

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal."

It is not hard to find examples of this every day, even in one's own personal life. Buy something new and after some time it diminishes in some way or is completely gone. Jesus was not just thinking about moths, corrosion, and thieves, but was pointing out that anything material will not last. We must keep our eyes on the spiritual.

Though offered many rewards for interpreting for Belshazzar, king of Babylon, the mysterious handwriting on the wall, Daniel looked to the spiritual realm and declined. Instead, he said to the king (Daniel 5:17), "Keep your gifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him."

In the New Testament we are told by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle John as recorded in 1 John 2:15-17, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." {1}

Not Earthliness But . . . 

II. Excellence 20

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;”

Christ directs us to have treasure in the spiritual realm instead of the material realm. After all, the material is only temporary, but that which is spiritual is eternal. This is one reason why emphasis is placed upon the non-material realm in the Sermon On The Mount. He tells us how to lay up heavenly treasure in the context of Matthew 6:19-21 {2}.

He tells us in verses 1-4 of chapter 6 not to do charitable deeds in order to be seen by people. In that we are not to “let our left hand know what our right hand is doing” implies that we should keep no record, mental or otherwise, of what we have done and expect nothing in return.

Prayer is the subject of verses 5 to 6. While there are times we must publicly pray our main time of prayer should be in private. Among many other things we should pray as directed by the Holy Spirit is for the salvation of those that need to come to Christ and for our brothers and sisters in Christ. I would say pray especially for the persecuted.

Before I continue with the selected context of our text it is will be good to point out that we might not see many of the results of our prayers, or forgiveness, fasting, and more, until we cross over into glory. The objective is for us to obey what Christ says by faith and learn to live in the spiritual realm. And, as you can see from the Sermon On The Mount, to be heavenly minded does result in one being earthly good in the sense of being beneficial to others.

Much can be said about forgiveness, which is mentioned in verses 12-14. We do well physically, mentally, and spiritually when we forgive others, or even our own selves. Spiritual benefit to oneself results in some heavenly treasure. When we forgive others there is even more treasure. If the person that we need to forgive was not a real Christian perhaps our forgiving them will draw them to Christ. For those in Christ that we forgive they are edified by our act of love. It is good to spiritually wash feet, removing from our heart and mind what we might deem as offenses against us by others.

Sandwiched in between those verses is the end of verse 13 where Christ tells us to pray “. . . For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” In brief, we lay up treasure in heaven when we recognize that God, not ourself, is King. That anything that we do comes from His strength through His Son within us. And we do not get the glory for anything, but God does.

Fasting is then mentioned in verses 16-18, and the purposes of fasting can be manifold, so there may be various treasures laid up in heaven. One would be development of godly character that will bless us and cause us to be a blessing during the millennial reign of Christ. Another could be intercessory prayer on behalf of the unsaved or saved.

Going back a chapter to 5:12 we see that there is reward (treasure) for being persecuted for Christ. If we are truly in Christ, at some point in time we will meet with some type of persecution. This means the treasure within us, that is, Christ, has become an irritant to someone. Really, it becomes a threat, because if an unsaved person yields to the call of Christ


then they would have to give up their life of sin. That is a threat to many.

Matthew 5:43-48 shows loving and blessing our enemies will bring us a reward, thus another way to lay up treasure. Loving and blessing an enemy really goes against our sinful nature, but as we by the faith and strength of Christ put these into practice, godly character is developed within us.

All this might be summed up in Matthew 6:33, “. . . seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” In obeying Christ in the selected points above, and in those things not covered, we promote the advance of the kingdom of God, something far better than the kingdom of darkness that most of humanity dwells in. Imagine if most the people in the world would truly surrender to Christ! The peace resulting from that would be a reward and a treasure. The same holds true for His righteousness.

But a key point of Matthew 6:33 is the objective of bringing souls to God through Christ. We can lay up treasure in heaven by spreading the Gospel of Christ in anyway possible. Do not feel bad if you do not see many come to Christ when you promote the Gospel. They might surrender later, and you will not know it until you stand before the Lord in eternity.

III. Earnestness 21

“for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The greatest treasure we can ever have is Christ Himself. If He really is our treasure we will have some level of zeal in doing whatever He commands by His written or spoken Word. As we love Him more our zeal will grow. Christ is our treasure because He provided the payment for us for our sins. We will not have to face hell, the second death, the lake of fire. In Christ we have abundant life, being freed from sin and made free to serve God out of love.

After making this statement in verse 21, Christ immediately points out the treasure chest, so to speak, that He is in, which is within each disciple, needs to stay unpolluted (verses 22 to 23): "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"

Right next to this, in verse 24, we see that in order to be earnest about our treasure we must be undivided in our loyalty: "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

A Little Now, Completeness Later

Holy Scripture validates the experience many have with the fact that though we receive complete treasure in glory, we have enjoy multiple blessings now. Part of maturing in Christ is realizing more and more that this earthly life carries no sure treasure. Only the kingdom of God does. Valuing the material realm is delusionary. The real treasure is in the spiritual realm. This is one reason why a person should commit to God through Christ and remain in Him. It is written in Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."

We must endeavor to never let go of Christ no matter what we encounter. We receive some treasure now, but when Christ returns we will receive the fulness of it. As Christ says as recorded by the Holy Spirit in Revelation "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done."

Notes:

{1} Please read Eternal Choices For Your Soul at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/eternal-choices-for-your-soul .

{2} If you are online you may look up the passages about to be referred to at http://blueletterbible.org/ .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by INSERT DATE HERE (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M430 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    The Sermon on the Mount, I think is one of the most talked about scriptures, but not many of us adhere to it. When God wants to entrust a great mission to us, he sets us apart from our usual environment for a time. That is what the Sermon on the Mount requires us to do, to be different from the crowd.
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